John Patrick

John Patrick was another footballer to suffer the early death of a Bo'ness-born father, in John's case it was even before he was born in Kilsyth in 1870. His birth was also another into a mining community, although his Coatbridge-born mother managed to raise him and his elder brother by working as a dressmaker.

Indeed, Patrick himself would work as a miner from early on and for most of his life, one where he took on the responsibility of eleven children, having married at eighteen again in Kilsyth, his bride local-girl, Margaret Whyte. 

By then Patrick, stocky and tall for the times, was already beginning to prove himself as a footballer, a goalkeeper, of some talent. He began with two seasons at local Kilsyth Wanderers before a season with Grangemouth, neighbouring Bo'ness, and one more at Falkirk, just next to both. That was before at the age of twenty-two St. Mirren came in for him and where he would stay as first choice for a full nine seasons, taking the whole family to Paisley to a house by Love Street. 

And it was during this period that John was to win his two caps, including in 1897 an away win over England. Indeed, he might well have had more caps but for the re-call of the Anglo-Scot, Ned Doig, and the emergence of Harry Rennie. It may even have been that emergence that may have prompted Patrick's retirement, still being considered for international inclusion, at the age of thirty-one. He was clearly still fit, not least because he returned not just to Kilsyth but to hewing coal. 

And that might have been it except that in 1922 with six children still at home Margaret died, for three years John managed alone but in 1925 was to remarry. His new wife was Isabella Scotland, a widow, again from Kilsyth, a year younger than he. And they would remain together until at the age of seventy-five he died still in the town in 1945, outlived by her by three years. 

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